Harari: Algorithms Threaten to Control Human Behavior in the Near Future
Israeli professor Yuval Harari has written 3 books that all take a hard look at the future of humankind, and in particular the future of AI. He published his first book, “Sapiens,” in 2014; it was a global bestseller. He wrote two additional books with futuristic themes, “Homo Deus” and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” They’ve sold 35 million copies in 65 languages.
The professor sees real problems ahead for the human race and its interaction with AI—or rather its inaction at regulating what is or is not acceptable. He explains that some algorithms have already begun to run much of the world. Perhaps too much. Harari thinks humans run the risk of being hacked in their behavior, their thinking, and their biochemistry.
In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on October 31, Harari laid out his concerns.
“The world is increasingly kind of cut up into spheres of data collection, of data harvesting. In the Cold War, you had the Iron Curtain. Now we have the Silicon Curtain, that the world is increasingly divided between the USA and China,” Harari tells Cooper. “Does your data go to California or does it go to Shenzhen and to Shanghai and to Beijing?”
But the real eye-opening comment was this:
“Netflix tells us what to watch and Amazon tells us what to buy. Eventually within 10 or 20 or 30 years such algorithms could also tell you what to study at college and where to work and whom to marry and even whom to vote for,” says Harari.
Harari says we are already being driven by corporate algorithms. Besides being told what to buy we are judged for loan acceptance or even legal punishment is being decided by an algorithm.
Harari says without an international effort to set up boundaries for data collecting there is not much chance we can avoid a dystopian future.
“One key rule is that if you get my data, the data should be used to help me and not to manipulate me. Another key rule, that whenever you increase surveillance of individuals you should simultaneously increase surveillance of the corporation and governments and the people at the top. And the third principle is that– never allow all the data to be concentrated in one place. That’s the recipe for a dictatorship.”
And he didn’t even bring up Elon Musk’s Neuralink. Talk about the danger of being hacked.
read more at cbsnews.com